Everybody makes stupid mistakes once in a while. Some people just do it on a grander scale. Here’s the back story in case you missed it:
On March 13th, UCLA political science student Alexandria Wallace uploaded a rant to YouTube about Asian students disrupting life on the UCLA campus. Her complaints were numerous and perhaps even valid, but her methodology left much to be desired. I’m sure poor Alexandria didn’t have a clue that her musings would cause such a stir, but a stir it was (see a copy/re-post of her rant here).
On March 15th, in response to the original rant, singer/songwriter Jimmy Wong posted this video:
There’s a lot going on here. First, Alexandria. I don’t know this girl, but I’m positive that if she would have known the extent of the controversy she was about to cause, she would have never posted that video. But, being a 20-something digital native in this day-and-age she had to have known the possibility that her rant would have gone viral.
It is being reported that her original video had more than 5 million views before being taken down. But the damage was done. Done to the extent that she has announced she will be leaving UCLA due to the volume and nature of threats she has received.
Now take Jimmy and his response. No violent threats. No reciprocal bigotry or ignorant taunts (although a healthy dose of sarcasm is detected in is opening speech). No screaming or yelling. Just a kid and his music (and a clever little ditty at that).
Jimmy’s video “Ching Chong (It Means I Love You),” has gotten over 1.8 million views since it posted on March 15 and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on both YouTube and iTunes launching him into Internet stardom.
Two videos, one topic, same medium, two completely different outcomes. One kid becomes a pariah to an entire culture and the other an Internet rockstar.
The Lesson For Us
- Think before you post – You may be upset and you may be justified in being upset, but please think before you post something on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet. There is no ‘unpublish’ button.
- A response can make you or break you – If a person complains about your company, product or service; how you respond will almost certainly dictate the outcome. Jimmy used humor. It may not work for you, but I’m positive that reciprocal ignorance will not win back your customer.
What do you think? How would you have responded?